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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  July 3, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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07/03/13 07/03/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we have a reference, we now , and electedcy leader, a constitution voted by the people, and we are working according to this legitimacy. if we respect this legitimacy, it will be the only way to avoid civil strike. of crisis. the state
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president morsi refused to step down after street protests. the military is threatening to take over. >> enough. the egyptian people are suffering. only god understands. morsi does not understand. can not here, can he not see? the entire egyptian people hate you. enough. >> we will speak with sharif abdel kouddous and activist and novelist ahdaf soueif. the interest rate for federally subsidized student loans has doubled after congress failed to avoid the hike. we will look at the student debt crisis. >> students are incurring huge amount of debt before they are even allowed to drink. it is really crazy when you think about it. this debt carries with them an entire lifetime. >> all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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egyptian president morsi has rejected an ultimatum from his country's armed forces to respond to massive protest or face removal from office. on monday, the egyptian military gave him 48 hours to outline a roadmap for reconciliation after millions of egyptians took to the streets to oppose his government. a leaked roadmap shows the military is prepared to overthrow more site, -- orsi. tuesday night, morsi asserted his right to serve out his term as the first in a critically elected president in egypt's history. the egyptian military's deadline expires today, leaving the country in a state of crisis. more from egypt with democracy now's sharif abdel kouddous and ahdaf soueif after the headlines. a u.s. drone strike in pakistan has killed at least 17 people. reuters is reporting most of the dead were fighters with the hi connie militant group. the attack in north missouri stand was the deadliest by the u.s. and pakistan this year, and
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the second since prime minister sharif took office last month. he has called for an in to the drone strikes. has eruptedy between bolivia, the u.s., and several european countries after false rumors emerged bolivian president evo morales had rescued nsa leaker edward snowden from legal limbo in russia. carryingy, an airplane rls was rerouted to austria after france and portugal arctic from the airspace over concerns snowden was on board. polybius foreign minister denounced the move, calling the snowden rumor alive. -- a lie. >> portugal needs to explain to us, france needs to explain to us why they canceled permission. this plane is french and its pilot is trained in france. we are in communication with authorities.
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mr. snowden has asked for asylum. we will analyze this. they want to intimidate us. it is discrimination toward our president and endangered his life. >> polybius defense minister has blamed the white house former alice forced landing in austria, calling an act of u.s. sabotage. bolivia also accused austria of aggression after delaying the airplanes departure for several hours and searching on board area did bolivia is one of 20 countries were snowden has applied for asylum after withdrawing his bid to stay in russia. speaking in brunei, secretary of state john kerry said he discussed the u.s. effort to extradite snowden with russian counterpart sergei b on the sides of a regional meeting. >> i did raise the issue of mr. snowden. , noris not his portfolio is it mine directly, because it is being handled within the justice department. so it is fair to say we did not
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discuss any substantive progress but i raced from our point of view how it fits within the context of our relationship. again, not his portfolio, so it he not discussed in a way would be able to take any action on it. >> ecuador is claiming it has discovered a hidden listening device at its embassy in london. a small microphone was reportedly found in its ambassadors office office during a security sweep last month. has beenorian embassy hosting julian assange for over a year in his bid to avoid extradition to sweden. the revelations come days after nsa whistleblower edward snowden exposed widespread u.s. spying on european union offices and foreign embassies. at least 45 people were killed tuesday in bombings across iraq. the deadliest attack left a people dead in northern baghdad. so far this year, iraq has seen
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its bloodiest sectarian violence since 2007. the syrian government is continuing and offensive to retake rebel controlled areas. steeringsh-based observatory for human rights says 40 civilians and 70 fighters on both sides of the conflict were killed in violence on tuesday. the regime of bashar al-assad has dropped leaflets over the northern province of idlib urging rebels to abandon their fight. speaking in brunei, secretary of state john kerry said the u.s. and russia remain apart on key issues, but agree on the need for a serial peace conference sooner rather than later. >> we narrowed down some of the options with respect to the potential of that conference. we both agree that conference should happen sooner rather than later. we agreed we are both serious, more than serious and committed to the geneva process. we both agreed our countries
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have an ability to be able to make a difference if we can pull together in that effort free at >> the white house has announced it is telling a critical piece of president obama's health care law by one year. the government will wait until 2015 to implement a requirement that businesses with at least 50 employees provide health insurance or face penalties. the move follows complaints that reporting requirements were too complicated to follow. health experts are warning the delay could significantly reduce the number of people who will receive insurance when the law takes effect next year. theycrews in arizona say have begun to contain the deadly blaze that killed 19 firefighters sunday. local officials say the fire is no longer raging out of control. the firefighters deaths worked a worse loss of life in u.s. wildfire in 80 years. on tuesday, mourners in the town of prescott gathered for a candlelight vigil. the battalion chief ralph lucas
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paid tribute to his fallen colleagues. >> i am going to leave here remembering your husbands, s.cles, your dad i had the great pleasure of getting to lead your spouses on many of fire over the years. that is what i will use to carry me into the future as a firefighter. >> the arizona fire is one of a number of wildfires that have raged in the past week amidst record shattering heat across the western united states. dozens of federally contracted service workers staged a one-day strike in washington, d.c. tuesday in a call for higher pay. the strike covered fast food employees and other low-wage workers at the ronald reagan building, which houses a number of federal agencies. it was the second such strike
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organized by the group good job station in d.c., in the last two months. a protester in california has been acquitted of all charges after being tried for writing protest slogans on the sidewalk. jeff olson faced up to 13 years in prison and $13,000 in fines on misdemeanor vandalism charges after using washable chalk outside three bank of america branches in san diego. "nomessages included thanks, big bangs" and " shame on bank of america." he has accused a bank of america executive of pressuring local prosecutors to go through with the case. jeff olsonerdict, urged supporters to protest big bangs by moving their money to local credit unions are you -- unions. >> closure account and move it to a local, nonprofit committed he credit union. if you are mad about this, think it should not of happened me, closer wall street accounts.
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>> olson's acquittal comes days after similar activist in pennsylvania was detained for using chalk to write a sidewalk spoken against republican governor tom corbett's decision to reject federal funds for expanding medicare. he wrote "governor corbett has health insurance, we should to." he has been charged with disorderly conduct. refuting claims that pilotless drones carry out more precise attacks than conventional air chief -- aircraft. he says he found remote- controlled drones caused 10 times more sibling casualties in piloted warplanes over the course of one year in afghanistan. larry lewis says his findings were based on classified military files covering it 2010 to mid-2011, the most intense time for u.s. airstrikes during the afghan war. human show u.s. and border protection has considered appetizing drones used along the
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u.s.-mexico border. according to reports submitted to congress in 2010, the agencies not only planning to increase the number of drones, it is also considering equipping them with "nonlethal weapons designed to immobilize targets of interest." the document surfaced as part of a lawsuit filed by the electronic frontier foundation against the department of homeland security in order to obtain more information about drone use. military prosecutors have wrapped up their case in the court-martial of army whistleblower bradley manning. the final prosecution witness testified tuesday in closed sessions, part of an effort to argue manning went documents that would be used by al qaeda. manning faces up to life in prison for 21 charges including aiding the enemy. his defense team will begin their case on monday. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we turn now to egypt for the
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nation is in the state of crisis. egyptian president morsi as rejected an ultimatum from his country's armed forces to respond to massive protest or face removal from office for you did on monday armed forces gave morsi 48 hours to outline a roadmap for reconciliation or be ousted by the military. that deadline runs out today. the army has announced it will issue a statement at 10:00 30 -- 10:30 eastern time. egypt's military leaders have already issued a call the battle in a statement headlined "the final hours." senior leaders of the muslim brotherhood have described the armies threat as a coup. in 45 minute speech broadcast last night on national television, morsi said he would refuse to resign and declared his right to serve out his term as the first democratically elected president in egypt's history. sure that ou make
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itsnuary 25 revolution and achievements of its goals in protecting legitimacy is not stolen from us? the price of legitimacy is my life, my life free at i want to take care of the people's lives. >> pressure is growing on morsi to resign or call for a referendum on early presidential elections. several of his ministers have already resigned. egypt's top muslim cleric and coptic pope reportedly met with egypt's army chief earlier today. violence is escalating on the streets in the meantime. the egyptian health ministry said 16 people were killed and another 200 injured their cairo university tuesday when gunmen attacked a pro-morsi rally. we're joined by democracy now! correspondent sharif abdel kouddous from cairo. what is happening? >> we are almost as zero hour,
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what could be the most pivotal moment in egypt since this began. the deadline by the army is due to expire in a couple of hours from this broadcast. in itsy originally said statement the political forces, if they could not meet with a call be people's demands, they would issue their own roadmap. as you mentioned, mohamed morsi i had last night did a late- night address, a very defiant speech or he rejected those he washe repeatedly said the legitimate president. word legitimate many times. word legitimacy many times. even with so far as to say he was willing to die to protect his intimacy. he reiterated only a call for
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dialogue, but it has been rejected for many months by the political opposition. that is where it stands right now. a facebook page affiliated with the armed forces released a statement right after in the name of the head of the armed forces, saying they were willing to sacrifice their own blood or egypt and its people, saying against any terrorist, radical list or fool. a lot of bluster and language from both sides is happening right now. the army, we're all waiting waiting for the army's decision because the deadline is set to expire. army has taken control of state media, including the main flagship newspaper. on its front page, it hasn't outline for what it will call a an outline foras .hat it would call a roadmap it would abolish the
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constitution and would appoint a panel to rewrite a new charter. it would have a military leader act as interim prime minister. subsequently, a military source this morning denied that roadmap would be put in place or imposed today. instead, they said they would gather political forces, economic and social forces leaders, to talk. that may be what is happening right now. it is not clear what is happening behind the scenes. everyone is waiting. as you mentioned, violence is escalating on the streets. 16 people were killed yesterday. it was incredibly bloody. more than 550 people were injured. it is a very tense moment in egypt. protesters behind me are continuing to fill to revere supportthose who morsi filling other squares. thean you talk about how
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anti-morsi protesters, millions around the country now, not just in cairo, how do they relate to the military and what about the mubarak barrette -- pro- forces? >> there has been this narrative the brotherhood and the military [indiscernible] in some ways that is true. later,nce 1952, 2 years he crackdown on the brotherhood, jailed and killed many of their leaders and band the party. -- hosnih mubarak also banned the party. it was morsi's rise as president that has been close collaboration and the military, the brotherhood and the morsi's
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position is part of a political pact with the military. did notherhood participate in what was perhaps the biggest uprising against the military in november 2011. instead, they chose to contest seats in the parliamentary election. they kept the military everything and more in the constitution a forced through, which includes military trials for civilians, the national security decision, control over the defense ministry, the stipulations the defense minister has to come from the ranks of the armed, and no parliamentary oversight of its military budget. it gave the military its own system to enjoy its economic privileges. furthermore in april, when reports by the fact-finding commission said morsi himself found the military was responsible for the killing and torture of protesters instead of holding them to account, instead
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offered promotions to military leaders. comfortable a very relationship in many ways, but i think what happened was some of this mass mobilization we saw, the popular backlash against morsi's rule on the streets of egypt on june 30, forced the military to step in because it threatens instability, a state collapse, and in turn that threaten the military's economic .rivileges they manufacture macaroni and fertilizer, laptops, you name it. that is the situation we are seeing right now. >> what about the news of the decogn minister resigning -- resigning? john kerry spoke to him in a sign of a pace events had already summit at his resignation to morsi.
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and the brotherhood saying a senior motherhood -- rutherford muslim leaders saying all those who resigned were "remnants of government." six cap the members have resigned. . it kerry called after shows you how quick things are happening. to spokesman reportedly have also resigned as well. there is an increasing isolation of morsi alone in power. you can hear crowd behind me getting very loud, calling on the president to step down. this is the increasing isolation of the presidency, really many ways, of their own making. they have not stopped to engage in any political process since the very beginning. instead of engaging in backroom
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deals with people like the military. this really began in november with the constitutional declaration a place morsi's decision outside the breach of any courts, which really there has been a downhill spiral since then. so this is the culmination of that. i think it is important to remember the main force behind us, while there is a struggle between political elite, remnants of the former regime am a the military, the police apparatus, but what is really forcing changes coming from the ground up read and that is the revolutionary struggle that is continuing. >> the question i want in with you before we move on to the great egyptian novelist ahdaf soueif, i want to ask you, who military orful, the the people who are protesting now in the streets? if you look at the events of what is happening, it is the people who are forcing the military's hand.
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since the beginning of the revolution, there has always been mass mobilization and popular forces that have guided what has happened here. i think we have to divide the -- itles and outline this was outlined eloquently in the guardian, saying the political that are fighting amongst themselves, and that is what you see the struggle between the army, the brotherhood who has become a powerful political faction, and elements of the former regime. they are jockeying for power amidst this popular backlash. but more important struggle is coming from the ground up, and that is the rejection of authoritarianism and a paternalistic form of governance. is all rejection of hose new member at -- we sell rejection of hosni mubarak.
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they are revolting against these elements. you there are these two struggles that are playing in parallel. it is not just the military are the brotherhood or elements of the former regime. >> are the people afraid of the military as well? sorry? >> are people afraid of the military as well? we can hear the resounding calls below as you speak i'm a sharif. has been a warm embrace of the military by large portions of the people here. we have seen helicopters fly over toe to wild -- fly wild cheers from the crowd. otherr, there are portions i completely reject the
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military as well as the brotherhood. it is a complicated seen. i think many people have been driven into the arms of the military, which is a stunning alternative. we a people calling for the military to step in and force this president from power. a mishmash of different opinions and political views that have come together in this uprising. >> we're just about to go to break and then introduce ahdaf soueif, but maybe you would like to give us a little introduction to who she is, her family, the significance of what we are about to hear. >> we are honored to have ahdaf soueif join us today. she is a very well-known novelist who was runner-up for the booker prize. her family is one of the most revolutionary families in egypt.
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her sister is a well-known dissident an activist and protester. her brother-in-law was jailed under mubarak. her nephew has been on democracy , a! a number of times leading dissident and blogger as well who was jailed by ibaraki and the supreme council and called for questioning by this current regime. his sister founded the military trials group, which is one of the leading groups of advocacy against military trials and civilians. a revolutionary royal family she is part of but also a great analyst and dissident who wrote a fantastic piece in the guardian. i am happy she is able to join us today. >> sharif abdel kouddous, democracy now! correspondent, nation fellow, thank you for joining us from cairo today. we will have a link to his piece on
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when we come back, the great egyptian novelist ahdaf soueif. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. talk morein cairo to about the crisis in egypt. we are joined by the egyptian writer and activist ahdaf soueif "cairo: my city, our revolution." she also wrote the forward for, "tweets from tahrir: egypt's revolution as it unfolded, in the words of the people who made it." her most recent article is headlined "in egypt we thought democracy was enough, it was not." it was published in the guardian on monday. she is speaking to us from cairo overlooking to rear square. it is good to have you with us, ahdaf soueif.
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can you tell us what it is the people are calling for right now? >> tank you, amy, it is good to back.k three a you will have to repeat your question, it is really noisy. >> what is it in your piece that you wrote in the guardian about morsi must go, and respond to the question of how the people in the streets feel about the military. >> there is a very going on right now in the streets. there are dissident voices and they are important voices that remind people the military for a year kills us in the street. on a whole, the people are just embracing the military. they're asking them to step in and are already celebrating the
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fall of morsi. if you believe in the happiness of the people, then you hope this is just that, a flirtation and once the people get what they want and make it an interim residential council, they get of the working constitution, then again they will have a more distance relationship with the military. that is what we hope. crocs talk about why you're calling for morsi to step down. on wednesdayst morning, the ultimatum that has been issued by the military, it is all expected -- the military is expected to speak at 10:30, about an hour and a half after we go off the air, eastern standard time, is there anything
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that morsi could say that would lead people to say he could stay? this point there's really absolutely nothing he could say except that he would resign of his own free will rather than plunge the country further into division. i don't think you'll do that, because he he has had many, many chances. needs tohe reason he leave and has needed to leave for a while, is precisely because he has divided the country. oneas failed to honor every of the promises he made in order to be elected. he is basically behaved as though he has somehow legitimacy from the old mubarak regime with mere piety. he has let down people that he promised things.
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police brutality, he has done nothing whatsoever. in fact, he has awarded them for the way they have regressed the revolution. he had to put together a fact- finding mission to explore what had happened, how people have been killed during the rule of the military. the results of the fact-finding commission were put to one side and not implemented, or not even put in front of the judiciary. his economic policy, he has been as opaque as mubarak. he went running to the imf for a loan and knowing new with the loan was used for. pushed her the constitution so basically, it is become say but it has
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undeniably evident that he was of governing in the interest egypt. opportunitymazing to actually have a muslim brotherhood regime or government that actually worked for the , and hadof the people egypt in his hands and he lost that. every day has been a chance for in, to have aople dialogue, to follow the map people have put in place. he hasn't done that. now he is clearly not hesitating [indiscernible] man,m brotherhood, young to put them in a direct confrontation with the rest of the country and the military.
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skirmishes in the districts just outside to rear people have been killed -- talk tahrir. it will largely be the making of the muslim brotherhood leadership. >> ahdaf soueif, i want to play a clip from your nephew. we spoke to him soon after mubarak fell. this is your nephew. dream that we don't need to deal with the complexes of the current constitution, which was created by an illegitimate government anyway.
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egyptians, it is amazing this uprising is happening and it is an incredible one, but the egyptians are generally conservative in their action so the moment you remove the very i would expect the majority of them would ask for a more smoother transition. there are benefits like right now everyone, we are really united. but there are divisive topics, they are just not relevant right now. if we immediately embark on these changes, we might have to start discussing particulars. modern civics a state. >> that was your nephew in 2011. can you describe what has happened to him as a protester
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under the morsi government, ahdaf soueif? again, i really can't hear you very well. if i got your question right, there was probably no need to start writing a new constitution. there was a big argument about that for a whole year, while the military were in charge. in fact, there was a very strong opinion that egypt could work very well with the constitution of 1971 if you removed some of the tempering the mubarak regime has done with it. and writing a new constitution, it was something thrown in our path by the military in one of its many strategies to kind of [indiscernible]
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us.ect there was the whole referendum on whether you write a constitution first were vote elections first -- or vote elections first. there was the writing constitution undertaken by the brotherhood under morsi, but in a way that was completely not conclusive, nontransparent. it is an instrument of division rather than an instrument of continuity, like it should be. this is an extraordinary moment where everything -- nothing is taken for granted. everything has to be resourced
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again and again and again, which is why it is so imperative to put in place a leadership, a government, that is actually working in the interest of the country. beis a time when people can very much lead in the wrong direction. >> what about the role of the youth movement in the protest's taking place today? >> well, the youth are out there, of course read -- of course treated this is a country where 55% is under 25. the young people are out there in force. there are hundreds of thousands behind me in tahrir square celebrating the downfall of morsi and singing songs. on the other hand, there are
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groups of completely, i don't know, straight revolutionaries who were at the morgue to try and help people, parents, identify the bodies of their young who have been killed. it does not matter whose side havere on for those who lost them. it never stops mattering. and there are the young people that are in some kind of political leadership position trying toe probably have an influence on whatever [indiscernible] groups being divided behind the scenes. >> are you concerned about sexual assault in the square?
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groups have reported months sexually assaulted and in some cases raped at least 91 women in tahrir over four days of protest beginning june 30. human rights watch has just released a video of the voices of some of the women. can you respond to that? >> it is a very serious situation. there were over 40 cases reported i think yesterday and more before that. filmingple are in their and it is being used by president morsi to talk about the moral quality of the people in tahrir. it should also be set a lot of people have mobilized and organized themselves with groups working against harassment. at greatout in tahrir personal risk to
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themselves, documenting what is happening. people are also fighting about it. it is a strange situation, because it is only happening in tahrir. it is as if it is being set up. that egypt should amend can only do this in tahrir. many have been seen kidnapping women. [indiscernible] but people are also working against it. from hear an enormous roar the crowd. what are people saying? they are saying the rule of , "get out, get out" and they have songs about how much they love egypt. >> ahdaf soueif -- >> they are naming --
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>> keep going. thank you, amy. >> thank you, ahdaf soueif, egyptian writer, author. "cairo: my city, our revolution." she also wrote the 44, "tweets from tahrir: egypt's revolution as it unfolded, in the words of the people who made it." we will continue to follow what is taking place in tahrir hroughout egypt for you and you can go to for more. when we come back, we look at student debt in the united states. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. news theow to the
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interest rate for federally subsidized student loans has doubled after congress failed to reach a deal to avoid the hike. the interest rate on stafford loans rose to 6.8% monday when a temporary freeze expired. lawmakers still have a chance to reach a deal on student debt over the next school year. the impasse in congress and to derail bipartisan difference over whether to cap rates on consolidated loans, and whether government profits from the loans should go toward paying down the federal deficit. student loan debt in the u.s. $1 trillion after roughly quadrupling over the past decade. last month, the congressional budget office forecast a profit of 50.6 billion dollars from interest rates in charged students paying back your college debt. a proposal by democratic senator warren to %wer student loans rates 2.75 , the same rate given to big banks and government loans, also failed to pass.
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>> they watched wall street bankers get bailed out while their parents lost jobs and struggle to hang onto their homes. they see special subsidies for companies that shift jobs overseas. whileloit tax loopholes be investments and their future at home disappear. and now the plan by senator coburn to squeeze more profits out of our students. he is fine with the government handing out loans to big banks at incredibly low lights -- rates, but he wants our students to pay more. this does not reflect our values. we see students drowning in debt and we should be there to help. and reid have shown great leadership on this issue. a offer a simple solution to prevent interest rates from doubling. their plan would maintain 3.4% interest rate for two more years.
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i have also introduced a short- term plan that would cut interest rates even more by offering the exact same rate the big banks get through the federal reserve discount window. i introduced this one-year deal because we need immediate relief while we develop a long-term plan. >> for more on this we're joined by two guests. in washington dc we're joined by micah hauptman, a financial policy counsel for public citizen's congress watch division. here in new york, pamela brown is a phd student in sociology at the new school, where she helped launch the occupy student debt campaign. we welcome you both free at let's go first to washington to micah. explain exactly how this broke down. >> it is great to be here. as you said, interest rates doubled from 3.4% to 6.8% on
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july 1 for federally subsidized loans. that means students are going to have to spend an additional approximately $1000 per year extra, so it is not insignificant. it does not really make sense because current interest rates are at near historic lows. aboutr treasuries are at 2.5%, and the government is deciding to raise interest rates to 6.8%. there is a wider gap between the rate at which the federal government is borrowing and lending. in practical terms, that means the government is going to make a profit. the congressional budget office predicts the federal government will make about $37 billion this year on federal student loans. >> what needs to happen right now?
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what is going to happen right now? >> unfortunately, congress could not get its act together to come together and agree on keeping interest rates low and instead it went on vacation. so when congress returns next week, we hope they will reconsider a proposal and have a temporary fix to have a lower rate, and that will provide them an opportunity to have a fuller debate on what student loans rates should be. >> the difference between how banks are dealt with when it comes to debt and how students are dealt with? >> senator warren touches on a really important issue. she is a consumer advocate chance. we commend her for raising these issues. she has really touched a nerve with a lot of people because she showed the imbalance in the system. tanks are allowed to borrow from federal reserve at .75% and now
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students are going to have to borrow at 6.8%. it really questions what our priorities are. unfortunate that the federal government bailed out wall street in 2008, the federal government has continued to prop up large banks for nearly five years at the same time consumers , homeowners, and student borrowers are being given very >> pamelas for help. brown, what needs to happen? >> with this bill, it is important to have these different political options, but in fortunately they don't really get to the systemic nature of the crisis. it is certainly the case with the elizabeth warren bill, what it does is it exposes the system and says, it is very unlikely that in a real democracy the people would actually vote to
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have higher interest rates than the banks, for themselves, for basic needs like education. so in terms of the next step, it really needs -- the systemic nature of this problem needs to be addressed and i don't think any people realize there is a real history. the history of the debt and the way we understand the debt today really starts i would say in the 1934 housing act. that act actually was an interesting moment where for the first time we had a real partnership between the banks and our government when we decided that banks would have away to create a secondary market, where they would not have to pay mortgages on their books, and would also have insurance. and the education act, which comes out of this moment where people are saying, we demand rights, comes out of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and creates sallie mae.
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that is how we really start to get into the student debt. actsystem itself and this with sallie mae, mirrors the housing act exactly. it says, we are going offer insurance 98% of federally backed loans are guaranteed, and we're also going to have a secondary market for student debt for the first time. that expands the cost of education enormously just as it did with the housing market. unfortunately, we have enormous cost of education now that people are meant to pay individually. >> senator bernie sanders spoke passionately on the senate floor last week to call on congress not to double student loan interest rates. >> how can you become a teacher, a childcare worker, a legal aid attorney, or even a primary care physician if the salary you are in will not enable you to pay
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off your debt and take care of the obligations that you face? isother words, this debt forcing many, many young people into professions which are not necessarily their love. it's not what they want to do, it is what they have to do in order to earn money to pay off their debts. this crushing debt burden determines where many young people will live and whether or not they can even afford to buy a home. homeo you go out and buy a if you are spinning 20% to 25% of your income paying off your student debt? this debt burden on our young people even determined in some cases whether or not they get married and have kids. >> that was bernie sanders of
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vermont. pamela brown, talk about your own experience for you -- experience. >> i went to columbia. it was my first experience of debt. i did not have any debt coming out of college. i had a middle-class family that back then could afford an amazing education for me. i did have debt coming out of columbia. it was the first time i ever thought about how to pay it back. it was definitely a factor that limited what i thought my job prospects really were and the types of jobs i would take. like most people, i really believe the system was fair and work, and you work hard and then you can pay off your debt. >> i want to turn to the issue of sallie mae read the nation's largest private student lender, sallie mae, spent 1.20 $3
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million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2013 alone, nearly half of it of what it had spent in 2012. on friday, senator warned sent a letter to the ceo of sallie mae --t read and the debt resisters --rations manual says pam brown, can you talk about this? >> when i was a student at columbia, this is exactly what was happening within the financial aid offices. they were taking kick backs. this is well-known now.
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schools are incentivized to put people into loans that are not necessarily really good for them. we do this a lot with private loans, where many people who are taking out private loans have not exhausted all their government options. their federally backed options. which provide not just only lower interest rates, but a whole host of protections including the right to deferrals and things of this nature, also the right to go into different programs where you might be able to actually lower the amount you would pay. >> i want to turn to oregon, what is happening there. on the same day that federal student loan interest rates doubled for the oregon state senate passed a bill that proposes a pay afford model. the idea is that students attend college without tuition or debt free and upon graduation, percentage of income would then go into an education fund. is this a model, micah hauptman,
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that could work on a larger not seeno >> i have the particular legislation, but we definitely need innovative solutions to solve our debt issues. >> let's turn for a moment to what the house speaker said to what john boehner said. he accused democrats of failing to stop student loan rates from doubling. he was speaking in june. >> this morning i sent a letter himresident obama and asked for something i thought pretty simple -- some leadership. it is clear that many democrats are content on singh interest rates double on college students. i think it is unacceptable. the president called for permanent market based reforms. the house passed it. and now it is being blocked. the president has failed to talk about this issue. he has not lifted a finger to
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push his own party to pass his own proposal. , theat was john boehner house speaker. >> it is unfortunate that there is not consensus on how to solve the problem. we definitely need public policy solutions and meet our legislators to get serious and .eal with student debt issues as you were saying, sallie mae is the largest private originator of student loans in the country and yet it has access to a federal line of quarter percentage, meanwhile, lending the students at 20 to 40 times that amount. something needs to be done. in the private student loan market, we are particularly concerned because of the lack of flexible repayment options, private student loans are largely nondischargeable in bankruptcy and public citizen is
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particularly concerned about private student loans for two additional reasons. first, private student lenders face forced arbitration clauses in their contracts and second because there are inadequate or really a lack of repayment option plans to refinance. for arbitration clauses in those contracts, lenders stick in the fine print of those contract, clauses that say, if we do you then you cannot sue us in public court. basically, your claim will be relegated to a private arbitration proceeding where we control the rules of the road andwe picked the arbitrator the deck is stacked against consumers from the beginning. this encourages lenders to engage in the type of predatory practices that pam was talking about. they're not held accountable for their actions. likely, the consumer protection
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financial bureau which is the brainchild of senator warren, to restrict orty outright ban forced arbitration clauses in these contracts including student loan contracts. regarding the lack of are incing options, we record low interest rates and people should be able to take advantage of those low interest rates and refinance student loans. >> pam. >> i think we need to contextualize this. the amount we are talking about here is maybe $2600 total over the life of the loan. by no means does this particular public policy solution really address the systemic nature of the problem. we are going to have to reduce the amount of money that
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students oh currently. >> thank you, pam brown and micah hauptman. we have two specials in the coming days. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now!
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